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Rebecca Morgan, “No Church in the Wild”

  • Art, Painting
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

For her third New York solo show, 29-year-old Rebecca Morgan mines her roots to create witty paintings, works on paper and ceramics that draw upon backwoods life. A product of small-town Pennsylvania—where Hummel figurines and Hallmark cards were considered the epitome of art—Morgan portrays grizzly mountain men, stoner Wiccans and buxom nudes. She leverages hillbilly stereotypes to explore a slice of society that’s as comic as it is feral.

Odalisque, a massive graphite drawing, offers a pastoral self-portrait of the artist naked and satiated after consuming a Big Gulp soda. The equally expansive Woods Walker depicts her barely clad as she hikes through the forest.

The painting Witch Hand captures the eponymous extremity, severed and lying in the weeds as if from a scene in a David Lynch film. Nearby, a lively group of glazed earthenware jugs with faces evoke moonshiners living beyond the reach of the law.

Other highlights include a panel of a bushy-browed gal collecting wildflowers, and a line drawing of a couple fornicating in a field. Unafraid to be ugly, yet exquisitely produced, Morgan’s art charms far more than it repels.

—Paul Laster


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